AICC 3G Sunset Congressional Reach Effort

Nov 30, 2020 | Blog, Uncategorized

(Note from SIAC: The attached letter comes from the AICC. We urge you to read through it, and if at all possible, follow through with the outline on the 3G extension issue. Please reach out to Caroline Dunlap, as noted in the communication, if you have any questions. We realize this is a lengthy note, but the issue is of tremendous importance to our issue, and requires attention by all electronic security companies. Please take the time to follow up.)

Dear AICC members: 

This is Caroline Dunlap from Bill Signer’s office at Carmen Group. On behalf of the AICC, I am reaching out to you because we need your help on the 3G sunset. While the AICC has been working with Committee staff, it is important that Committee staff and the members of the House and Senate who either represent you or an area where you have a significant presence hear from alarm companies directly. They need to know that this is a real problem that will impact the people they represent. We have put together a list of key members on the House and Senate Committees with jurisdiction over telecom issues as well as the Committee staff that is working on these issues. It is important that you contact both your representatives and their Committee staff. 

Many of you have responded to this request. We are seeing some positive responses from members of Congress, but it’s not enough. Please, if you haven’t done so, send an email as directed. It will only take a few minutes. We could also use help from the manufacturers on this list.


As many of you know, AT&T and Verizon have announced sunsets for their 3G networks. AT&T is calling for a sunset date of February 22, 2022 and Verizon is calling for a sunset of December of 2022 – 10 months later. Because of the Coronavirus many of our customers have been reluctant to have alarm technicians entertheir homes and businesses so that we can upgrade their equipment to make them compatible with newer networks.

We need your help especially if your business is headquartered in or has a significant presence in any of the following states: AK, AZ, CA, CT, CO, FL, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV

The industry is seeking a longer transition period before AT&T sunsets its 3G network. We are asking elected officials to reach out to AT&T and urge them to push back their sunset to December 2022 which would make AT&T’s sunset the same as Verizon’s proposed sunset, citing the pandemic as the reason.

Ideally, if your business is headquartered in a Sub-Committee member’s district or state, we would urge you to reach out to that member. Even if your business is not located in the member’s district but is from his/her state, they will pay attention. To find out who represents your district go to: https://ziplook.house.gov/htbin/findrep_house for the House of Representatives and  http://www.senate.gov/states/statesmap.htm for the Senate. Please let me know if you have any questions. Our lobbyist Bill Signer or I will endeavor to assist you.

Thank you in advance for your help in helping our industry. We are asking you to send the message below to your elected officials: 

Dear Representative/Senator: The burglar and fire alarm industry is seeking your help in urging AT&T to delay the shutdown of its 3G cellular network which is currently scheduled for February 22, 2022 – a mere 16 months from now – to December 2022. This would then have both Verizon and AT&T shutting down their 3G network cellular networks at the same time. Our industry protects the safety and property of over 30 million homes and businesses. Additionally, many seniors depend upon us to monitor their personal emergency response systems which allow them to live at home.

There are approximately 6,000,000 3G that must be upgraded, otherwise they will cease to communicate once the 3G networks are shut down. AT&T recognized the need for an appropriate transition when it moved from 2G to 3G in 2016 and provided 4 1/2 years for that transition. The industry estimates that we now have upwards of 3 times the number of 3G devices to change out as we did for the 2G transition.  

Currently, the change-out requires an alarm technician to enter the premises and upgrade the existing equipment. Unfortunately, with the Coronavirus pandemic, many of our customers have been understandably reluctant to have us enter their homes and businesses. For nine months and counting, this has curtailed what was to be a three-year transition. Realistically, we are looking at least another seven months before we will be able to resume our normal ability to upgrade these systems. 

While AT&T has been working with the industry for the development of equipment that will allow consumers to self-install equipment that would upgrade home security systems, to date that equipment is still in the testing stage and will not work with most personal emergency response system used by homebound individuals and a significant number of alarm systems. While we are hopeful that the equipment will work, we are not certain it will or whether the manufacturer will be able to meet the demand in a timely fashion.  Accordingly, we are asking you to speak directly with AT&T and urge them to move back their 3G cellular shutdown date to December 2022 and make it the same time as Verizon’s shutdown. Failure to do so will put millions of homes, businesses, and lives needlessly at risk.  Include your address on the emails that you send so they know you are a constituent. Again, thank you in advance for your help.

 
We want to urge you to contact:

  • The member of the House and two senators who represent you and where your company is headquartered;
  • A member of the House and Senate Commerce Committees from any state where you have a significant presence a contact list of telecom staff for members of the committees is attached. 
  • Committee professional staff are critical.  In the House, it’s the House Energy and Commerce Committee and in the Senate it’s the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Everyone should reach out to them because they and their staff are the people Congress and the industry look to set Telecom policy. It is especially important that you reach out to them if you have a significant presence in their state. 
    • If you are from New Jersey or have significant operations, it is important that you contact the House Energy and Commerce Committee staff for Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
    • If you are from Oregon or have significant operations in NJ, it’s important you contact the Energy and Commerce staff for Greg Walden
    • If you are from Mississippi, it is important that you contact the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS)
    • If you are from South Dakota or have a significant operations in South Dakota it is important that you contact Senator John Thune’s (R_SD) staff
    • If you are from Washington or have a significant presence in Washington it is important to reach out to Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
    • If you are from Hawaii or have a significant presence in Hawaii, it is important that you contact Senator Brian Schatz 

If you have questions you can contact Lou Fiore Ltfiore@aol.com or Bill Signer at signer@carmengroup.com (202) 365-9019 who represents us on telecom issues with the congress.  


If you get a response, please share it with us.

 
Thanks Again,

Caroline Dunlap

Carmen Group, Inc.

901 F Street NW

Suite 600

Washington, DC 20004